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Old 11-15-2009, 12:35 AM   #1
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AlphaSmart: does anyone use them?

Hi,
This is the first time I've poked my nose into the writer's corner, so forgive me if this has been discussed before.

Does anyone write on an AlphaSmart device? I'm interested in the Neo as I'm easily distracted by all the other things my laptop can do, like visit MobileRead! I like the single-function and portability aspects, but wonder whether it would just be another 'toy'; and that what I really need is more self-discipline.

Does anyone have any experience of these? They look very much as though they've stepped off the Tardis, having time-travelled from the 1980's.
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Old 11-15-2009, 02:14 AM   #2
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I used to have an Alphasmart 3000 and currently have an Alphasmart Dana. I don't use it often as I am often near a computer, but when I do use it (e.g. Nanowrimo) it's good to have. It's also great for taking to the library; I often like to go browse cookbooks and cooking magazines. I can jot down recipes without needing to sign out a book.

If you decide to go this route, check ebay. The prices for a brand-new one have not come down in light of other tech options available these days (they were designed when laptop computers were $1000+) and they are way over-priced. An older model can be had on ebay for a pittance. I think I paid about $75 including shipping for my Dana a few years ago, and they are $300-400 new.
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Old 11-15-2009, 03:45 AM   #3
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I have a Neo and I love it. I use it for first drafts of a novel and I find it really promotes productivity. There are no distractions and it comes on instantly to the place you left off, no booting, loading of files. It's sturdy. The keyboard feels great, and what you miss in the crudity of the display you get with battery life. I swear, the batteries must last almost a year. I haven't put new batteries into my Neo since June.
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